Former F1 driver Robert Kubica has retired from day three of Rally Poland after taking the right-rear tyre off his Fiesta RS WRC car in SS17.

Kubica lost the wheel 3-4 kilometres into the repeat-run through the 14.41 km Stare Juchy 2 test. Kubica and co-driver Maciek Szczepaniak were both unhurt.

It has yet to be confirmed if they will be able to re-join on Sunday under Rally 2.

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Kubica had been running in sixth place overall on his home event post-SS16, just 1 second behind his M-Sport team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen.

Speaking in the mid-day service - after SS15, he noted: "It has been a very unlucky morning, but you can look at it in two ways and say that it was also a very lucky morning.

"Towards the end of SS14 there was a marshal in the middle of the road slowing me down. I thought that there must be something bad up ahead so I slowed down for three or four corners but there was nothing. I started pushing again and then in a long corner over a crest I saw Daniel [Barritt, co-driver to Elfyn Evans] running to slow the other cars down.

"I lost concentration as I wasn't expecting to see him and clipped a stone - I think the same stone that Elfyn [Evans] must have hit. Fortunately we only had a puncture but as we had already had one puncture this morning [on SS12] and were only carrying one spare, it was a bit scary going into the last stage [SS15].

"I've never driven 15 kilometres on a flat tyre so I didn't know what to expect and how the car would feel. That was a new experience for me. I drove very safely and we lost a bit of time but it was OK."